Authorization for the grant of a preservation restriction pertaining to the Brookline Reservoir Gatehouse

Petitioner: Commisioner of Public Works

Annual Town Meeting, May 2018

The Brookline Department of Public Works has applied for a matching grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission to perform masonry repair and restoration or replacement of windows and doors at the Brookline Reservoir Gatehouse. The Gatehouse is a significant historic landmark, listed in both the National and State Registers and designated as a National Historic Landmark. Constructed in 1848, it was a key component of Boston's first public water supply system, and it contains what are probably the earliest extant examples of an iron plate roof, wrought iron roof trusses, and cast iron stairs intended for public use in the United States.
The building has been vacant since the 1960s, and water infiltration has resulted in the loss of most interior finishes. The goal is to secure and stabilize the building envelope in preparation for future use by the DPW's Division of Parks and Open Space. A requirement of the matching grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission is to enter into a preservation restriction protecting the building and a twenty-foot buffer around the building in perpetuity. The preservation restriction is meant to ensure that the characteristics which contribute to the architectural, archaeological, and historical integrity of the premises will be maintained, and that if major alterations are to be considered they can be made only after the Massachusetts Historical Commission has reviewed the proposed work and given its permission. What constitutes major changes is spelled out in an attachment to the Preservation Restriction titled "Restriction Guidelines." Samples of these guidelines that could potentially be applicable to the projected work at the Gatehouse include:
* Replacement of doors and windows,
* Spot repointing of masonry,
* Altering or removing significant landscape features such as plantings, and
* Installing or upgrading mechanical systems which will result in major appearance changes.

Changes classified as major alterations are not necessarily unacceptable to the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and the intent is not to preclude future changes but to require review by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and assessment of their impact on the historic integrity of the Gatehouse.

Official Town Meeting Vote Select Board Advisory Board

Favorable Action

Favorable Action

Favorable Action




Final Result:

Favorable Action

Community Organization Recommendations
PAX Green Caucus
Official Text of the Article

VOTED: That the Town authorize and empower the Select Board to grant a preservation restriction to the Massachusetts Historical Commission in perpetuity on the structure generally known and referred to as the Brookline Reservoir Gatehouse, a two-story granite structure located at the southwest corner of Warren and Boylston Streets adjacent to the Brookline Reservoir, as well as the surrounding twenty-foot area, shown on the plan dated March 7, 2018 submitted herewith and entitled "Brookline Reservoir Gatehouse", with the entire Reservoir shown on Sheet 76 of the Town's 2005 Assessors Atlas as Parcel 10 in Block 324…